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Twitch and Shout

A Touretter’s Tale

2004
Author:

Lowell Handler

Twitch and Shout

The remarkable memoir of a Touretter’s journey of self-discovery—now back in print!

With a new afterword by Dr. Neal R. Swerdlow of the Tourette Syndrome Association

Lowell Handler, who has Tourette’s syndrome, sets out on a journey through less than savory parts of America. From a transvestite bar in Tampa to a flophouse in New Orleans, he meets people who, like himself, don’t conform to the standards of conventional society. With a keen eye for detail and an acute sense of humor, this memoir captures the unforgettable life of a Touretter.

Touching . . . an insightful account of the pain and triumph that one person experienced making peace with the limitations of his existence.

New York Times Book Review

Lowell Handler has Tourette’s syndrome, a disorder characterized by exaggerated facial tics, sudden jerking movements of the body and limbs, and explosive public outbursts, usually in the form of expletives and racial epithets. Although he is a successful and acclaimed photojournalist, Handler has often seen himself as an outsider—a social outcast. With courage and candor, he recalls the difficulties he suffered growing up, the confusion he experienced when doctors misdiagnosed his bizarre behavior as a psychological aberration, and finally how, restless and despairing, he embarked on a quest for answers.

In Twitch and Shout, Handler sets out, camera in hand, on a journey through less than savory parts of America. From a transvestite bar in Tampa to a flophouse in New Orleans to a community health center in New York, he meets a variety of people who, like himself, don’t conform to the standards of conventional society. With a keen eye for detail and an acute sense of humor, this memoir perfectly captures the unique and unforgettable life of a Touretter.

Twitch and Shout

Lowell Handler is a photojournalist whose work has been published in, among others, Life, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, and the Sunday Times Magazine (London). He served as associate producer and narrator of the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary Twitch and Shout, an exploration of Tourette’s syndrome. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he is on the faculty of the Department of Performing and Visual Arts at Dutchess Community College.

Twitch and Shout

Touching . . . an insightful account of the pain and triumph that one person experienced making peace with the limitations of his existence.

New York Times Book Review

With candor and humor, Handler describes the people and places he saw, touched, loved, and hated as he set out to discover himself, armed with a camera, a keen sense of the real, and the Tourette’s Syndrome.

SciTech Book News

The first memoir by someone with Tourette’s syndrome . . . It is a mind-bending account of a mind-boggling affliction.

Entertainment Weekly

A most engaging account of a rich and creative life.

Oliver Sacks, M.D.

Driven along through the pages fascinated by the characters, the symptoms, the kinds of behavior and above all by the compassion this man has for both his work and his fellow Touretters. The strength of this account is in the very personal story it tells.

Metapsychology

Twitch and Shout

Contents

Foreword Elkhonon Goldberg, Ph.D.

Introduction

Chapter 1. Hitting the Road
Chapter 2. Talk Isn’t Cheap
Chapter 3. Diagnosis
Chapter 4. Drugs and Orphan Drugs
Chapter 5. Lifeand Leukemia
Chapter 6. Jet Set Tourette
Chapter 7. Pot and Prozac Love
Chapter 8. Susanna and Marriage
Chapter 9. Twitch and Shout
Chapter 10. A Second Chance at Life
Chapter 11. Tourette Culture
Chapter 12. Crazy and Proud

Afterword
Neal R. Swerdlow, M.D., Ph.D. Resources
Acknowledgments